Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (September 30th 2015) blasted transport ministers for “again ignoring Teesside on the transport map.”
“Looking through the document one thing stands out: there is absolutely no mention of any electrification of the short piece of line from Northallterton to Middlesbrough and Teesport. This is the key piece of work needed to connect Teesside to high speed rail.
“At a time when we need to be throwing everything we can at infrastructure renewal for this area following the SSI body blow, this is negligence of the highest order.
“A second issue which runs through the document is that all the other promised improvements are prefaced by the weasel words on the main announcement – and I quote – are seen “as work to develop new plans” for TransPennine rail. I would query whether this means that they are going back to the drawing board altogether and junking past work, which if they are doing, would put a substantial delay on this and I couldn’t see a firm date for the work.
“In terms of road improvements again, there is no specific mention of the needs of Teesside. There is talk of rebranding the A19 as an “expressway”, which, when you look at the small print seems mainly to give the road a logo to indicate that it is a through dual carriageway. The needs, for example, for a new Tees crossing is simply absent.
“It seems that yet again the switches in the Northern Powerhouise have been pulled off by this government.”